A Study on Local Knowledge in Adaptation to Landslide Disasters in Sri Lanka
Natural disasters are unforeseen events which occur at hydrologic, geologic, and atmospheric origins. The Policy-makers still rely on mitigation strategies based on scientific approaches. However, many scholars had emphasized the importance of incorporating local knowledge and related practices for disaster risk management. In that context, this study investigates the local knowledge in adaptation to mitigate the landslides disaster situations by studying a village in Sri Lanka which is located at the central region of Sri Lanka which is vulnerable for landslide disasters. Landslides is one of the severe types of disasters in hilly terrains and which cause to loss of lives and property damages especially in Asia region. This study employed the field surveys, questionnaire surveys and semi structured interviews for data collection. The findings of the research indicate how the local knowledge-based practices in settlement layout & planning, landscaping had enhanced disaster adaptation level of the community. Further the local knowledge-based value systems act as a strong mechanism in identifying early signs of landslide disasters. Finally, the paper discusses the possibilities of upscaling such local practices for mainstream disaster management practices.
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